$800K pledged to develop 16-mile-long Lowell to Ionia bike, walking trail

Bike and walking trails are among some of the most popular forms of recreation. Some West Michigan organizations are hoping to develop greenways that connect cities and link other trails, creating miles of opportunities for hiking, riding and rollerblading that are right in West Michigan’s back yard.

According to excerpts from the story:

A 15.8-mile chunk of abandoned railroad grade from Lowell to Ionia may become a new recreation trail in future years. The West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition recently bought the land from the Jacksonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica Inc.

The Edmore-based Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail group has agreed to time-limited ownership of the land, said Carol Kane, the project coordinator with WMTGC.

The coalition prefers to avoid direct ownership of the property. The Friends group has no plans to begin work.

"(Our) intent from the very beginning was to be a fundraising organization," Kane said. Development of the trail will require agreements about maintenance and upkeep by three counties along its length, Kane said.

Read the complete story here.

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